Will Remote-Controlled Passenger Flights Happen Soon?

Many of today’s senior travelers may never see it happen. However, as every other form of transportation is getting automated, it’s just a matter of time before pilotless commercial air travel will become a reality.

When that happens, you can first expect to experience mechanized security body searches before boarding. Those steel robot fingers on your intimate body parts will be even icier than those of Homeland Security geeks.

China: Great Wall in early autumn morning light PDF Print E-mail

Great Wall of China

Paris: Cathedral of Notre Dame PDF Print E-mail

Notre Dame

If you ever visit this magnificent building, we have a HUNCH that you'll want to come BACK.

Airfare: To spree or not to spree; that is the question PDF Print E-mail

Airplane $$$

Q: We’re flying cross-country non-stop to attend a family wedding. Because of business commitments, we can only stay one night. Here’s our dilemma. Cheapest way is to be dressed for the wedding as we board the flight. That means no baggage and we can pay tourist.

However, we’ll be aboard for six straight hours, and it would be more comfortable to go casual. We’d check our dress-up clothes and fly higher class. However, the cost for two would go from $800 to $2,000. What do you suggest?

Mario D., Chicago IL

A: Of course, that’s a heckuva price difference. If you don’t want to put out the extra money, consider booking the cheap seats and consolidate without checking luggage.

You shouldn’t need too many items for just a single night, so use one or two carry-ons, plus backpacks, if necessary. Carefully fold flat your dress-up clothes in individual plastic bags into the carry-ons. Take all extras in the backpacks. When you get to your hotel, and if your stuff needs ironing, find a nearby quick-service tailor shop.

Las Vegas: Golden Nugget has real pool sharks PDF Print E-mail


Voted one of the top 10 hotel swimming pools in the world by Forbes Traveler is the big water playground at the Golden Nugget in downtown Las Vegas. Called The Tank, it’s much more than just for swimming. It gives you the unique opportunity of swimming with dozens of sharks, stingrays and other big sea predators.

Well, not exactly in the same water, because humans are protected by a transparent acrylic wall that affords all the fun of being with the big predators without any of the dangers. When you go, take your waterproof camera and get the proper angle so you look as if you’re side by side with the sharks. Then you can prove to your friends at home that you were actually brave enough to swim with the big guys.

The Tank also offers a three-story water slide, soaring waterfalls and swim-up bar for those who need to recover from the deadly shark encounters. For more information and to make reservations, check with your favorite hometown or online travel agency, or go to www.goldennugget.com

Cell phoning on cruises can be very expen$ive PDF Print E-mail

Old phone

We were on a recent cruise from San Diego to Acapulco, and just an hour after we left port, we called home by cell phone. The five-minute call cost $19.50. When we argued with the phone company that it should have been free, we were told the call cost so much because it was made from a foreign country.

We didn’t realize that once we had crossed that invisible line from California, USA, into Baja California, Mexico, the same rate applied as if we had called from Beijing, China. We believe it actually cost E.T. less to phone home from Earth to his planet.

Next time you’re on a cruise and want to phone home or take a call from someone at home, be sure you know the pricing rules. Actually, it’s cheaper to hold your call phone use until the ship docks in the foreign port. It's usually less expensive to call there than from a ship.

Better yet, before you go on a cruise, check with your cell phone provider to be fully informed about all charges you’d incur when you use the phone anywhere beyond the basic limits of home.

Additionally, before you sail, check with folks at home or office about priorities of calling and receiving calls, and keep them to a minimum.

Dire warning to avoid bank account attack!!!  If you’re on a cruise with tattling, twittering and tweeting teens, be sure they know the rules and limits to avoid running up astronomical charges by making never-ending calls on their cell phones and other electronic gizmos.


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